EDUCATION is key to social mobility and economic freedom — and Mauritius-based SBM Holdings Ltd knows it. The small island state has a population of 1.3 million people, making human capital one of the country’s main assets. The group’s Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives have been designed to empower the population, combat poverty, and contribute to drive the country towards a higher-income economy. SBM Holdings Ltd, through its social arm — the SBM Foundation — uses education as its weapon in the fight against poverty, funding over 1,000 student scholarships and supporting 19 educational NGOs. The BV judging panel commends the financial group’s far-sighted and uplifting educational strategies, and presents SBM Holdings Ltd with the 2018 award for Most Visionary CSR Programme (Indian Ocean).